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Arkansas Student Arrested for Plan to Join Terrorists

Posted: June 21, 2005

A University of Arkansas graduate student has been arrested for allegedly planning to join a Middle East terrorist group. 


Arwah Jaber, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested on June 14 after FBI agents received an anonymous tip indicating the he was flying to the Middle East to join Palestinian Islamic Jihad, designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department.  He is charged with attempting to provide support to a foreign terrorist organization.


Jaber, born in the West Bank town of Yamoun, was arrested at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport prior to boarding an indirect flight bound for the Middle East.


After learning that he would not graduate in May, according to an FBI affidavit, Jaber, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry, sent one of his professors an e-mail saying he was taking a job with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  Jaber reportedly wrote, "I decided to take an honorable job in Palestine with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Organization" to "pursue a more noble cause" and "fight the Israeli terrorism." 


During an interview with the FBI at his home, according to the affidavit, Jaber indicated that "he would rather die fighting for freedom against Israeli terrorists than stay another six months at [the University of Arkansas] trying to complete his Ph.D."


Jaber faces up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000, if convicted.

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